Mike Budenholzer And Billy Donovan Voted Co-Coaches Of The Year By Their Peers

While the NBA awards voted on by the media will not be handed out for some time — although voting has commenced for those — the National Basketball Coaches Association has named its Co-Coaches of the Year after voting from the 30 coaches in the NBA.

In a bit of a surprise, Nick Nurse of the Toronto Raptors is not one of the two co-winners of the award, as Mike Budenholzer of the Milwaukee Bucks and Billy Donovan of the Oklahoma City Thunder will share the award after a tie in votes, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Nurse reportedly received one fewer vote than Budenholzer and Donovan, nearly making it a three-way tie.

Others receiving votes include Nate McMillan of the Pacers, Taylor Jenkins of the Grizzlies, Erik Spoelstra of the Heat, Brad Stevens of the Celtics, and Frank Vogel of the Lakers. If anything the vote represents just how strong the coaching around the NBA has been this season, as you can make a case for a number of coaches for the jobs they’ve done getting the most out of their rosters.

While Nurse is the expected frontrunner for the media award given the job he’s done keeping the Raptors as a top-two seed in the East despite the loss of Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green, what Donovan has done in OKC and Budenholzer has done in Milwaukee are each incredibly impressive. Bud won the award a year ago and after the Bucks shuffled around some roster pieces this summer around their top stars, the Bucks have only continued to improve. For the Thunder, this was supposed to be a rebuilding year, but Donovan has managed to bring young players and veterans alike into harmony, resulting in the current 5-seed in the West who look like a team no one wants to see come playoff time.

You can make similar cases for a number of coaches, as Jenkins has his young Grizzlies ahead of schedule in the 8-seed out West, McMillan continues to get the most out of Indiana despite injuries, Stevens has the Celtics still in the mix despite losing key frontcourt pieces, and Vogel has done a spectacular job coaxing one of the league’s best defenses out of the Lakers.